Birthlight continues to flourish in China

I am full of gratitude to be one of the tutor team who travels regularly to China. It means that I often get to witness the response of the women there to our Birthlight methods. It is a great honour to see how joyfully the methods are received. There is great passion there for understanding women and families, a passion for learning about fertility, pregnancy and birth, and a willing understanding that progressive postnatal healing is required. Our gentle, nurturing practices are fully embraced, a welcome antidote to the stronger yoga that many young women in China are practicing. I see such a lot of enthusiasm for feminine, fluid, nurturing practices and I regularly hear how different our courses are compared to others available there. Our reputation is becoming strong because students attending the courses are always impressed. Frequent comments when I ask why students chose the courses include “I heard the course went so much deeper than other courses”, and “I heard how unique the teachings are”, or “I was told that this is the most professional course available in China”. After courses end, the emotional reactions to the experience is heartwarming. Students leave having transformed their ideas about working with women at this special time of life, and having evolved personally too.

It is wonderful to see so many yoga teachers in China choosing to attend our courses, and how excited they are to share what they have learned with women. Sometimes maternity doctors attend too, which gives us hope for changes in the way that women experience birth in a country that doesn’t often empower its mothers during labour. This will take time, but Birthlight teaches women that different ways are possible and every teacher we teach becomes a little part of this transformation.

There’s not often time for sightseeing, because I have children waiting for me at home in England. However, this time, after teaching Perinatal and Postnatal courses in Beijing, I was flown to a very lovely part of China, the beautiful city of Hangzhou. I was there to teach a study day, bringing together students from previous courses to learn more about pelvic health and therapies for pelvic girdle pain. Afterwards, I was treated to a visit to the Bamboo Forest, where we practiced the serene Birthlight pose ‘Bamboo Mama’ amongst the trees. It was truly peaceful in the cool, green ambience of those beautiful giant bamboos and it’s clear why Francoise was inspired to name the practice. Those trees stand so sturdy and tall and, although they sway gently in the wind, they are strong and centred, regularly repositioning themselves to be upright, just like a grounded Tadasana.

The picture shows me with Grace Min Zhou, (land course organiser in China), and Liang Zheng, (a student at the study day), and Liang’s daughter being Bamboo Mamas in the forest.

I’d like to say an very big THANK YOU to Grace Min Zhou for inviting us to teach the land based courses in Shanghai back in 2015. For her work in tirelessly translating each manual, for verbally translating our courses, (having learned some technical anatomy to make that possible), and for continuing to be so passionate about what Birthlight brings to her country. Because of her we have a long term relationship with China that will continue to flourish.

Jane Collins
Birthlight Perinatal Yoga Tutor

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